By Katherine Shappley, VP North America SMB

Today, we’re in Houston, the second stop of Facebook Community Boost, offering trainings to help local small businesses grow and equip entrepreneurs with digital skills.

For Community Boost to truly serve its purpose, it’s important that opportunities for education are available long after this week’s event. That’s why we’re partnering with local organizations including, Houston Area Urban League, BakerRipley, Flatiron School and WeWork to provide continued training for small businesses and job seekers here in the greater Houston area.

We’re inspired by the strength and resilience of the people of Houston especially in the wake of adversities faced this past year. And we are proud to work with these organizations to help give local businesses the tools they need to grow their business, create jobs and strengthen the local economy.

Digital Skills and Marketing Training for Houston

Every community is different, which is why we surveyed hundreds of local residents to understand the unique needs of individuals and businesses in the Houston community and tailor the program accordingly.

Small businesses and job seekers in the Houston community told us that there is a gap between the digital skills they have compared to what they need to succeed:

  • 90% of small business managers believe that digital advertising is an important skill for growing their business, but only 20% of managers rate themselves as excellent in this area.
  • 95% of jobs/skills seekers say digital skills are important when looking for job, but only 15% rate their digital skills as excellent.

As part of our partnership, Houston Area Urban League and community organizations like BakerRipley will equip their teams to run workshops and deliver digital marketing and social media curriculum across the greater Houston area to help close these gaps long after the Community Boost event ends.

Coding Bootcamps and Workforce Development

We are sponsoring a Facebook Bootcamp with Flatiron School that will fund scholarships for a full class of its 15-week coding bootcamp at its new Houston campus at WeWork. As a part of the program, students will utilize Flatiron School’s Career Services Framework which provides dedicated career coaches who mentor students through the job search process to ensure they successfully land jobs upon graduation. The Houston Area Urban League will also work directly with Flatiron School to source diverse applicants, provide additional career training and job placement services to bootcamp graduates.

These are just a few of the ways we’re working with the Houston community to help small businesses and job seekers gain the skills they need to succeed. We’re excited to continue to listen and learn from local businesses this week.

Our teams are committed to helping small businesses and their communities across the United States and beyond. Please share your thoughts and stay up to date with the latest city announcements, news and program schedules at facebook.com/communityboost. For visuals from Facebook Community Boost Houston, see here for photos and here for videos.